VISITOR POLICIES & FAQ

We do not try to ruin anyone’s stay with a lot of useless rules. That we take the time to write them down and also explain them on your arrival should indicate that these are things we are serious about and we need everyone to understand that they exist for a reason.

Find out more about our permaculture courses in Thailand here.

VISITOR POLICIES

is 2 weeks. Volunteers are welcomed and encouraged to stay longer. We understand that sometimes your stay in Thailand includes a very rushed itinerary which might only be a part of a visit to SE Asia. It might seem just fine to stop for a week while on your travels and contribute however, the planning and coordination for every volunteer does take significant effort for our staff. It does require time for volunteers to understand and adjust to the routine at Daruma including both the volunteer work and the community responsibilities.

Visitors must arrive before sunset. This will allow time to orient yourself to the grounds & building before dark and avoid disrupting other volunteers while settling in. It also ensures that a staff member is available at the time of your arrival. Certainly, in some cases it does happen that transport is delayed. This is something we all know about and therefore, expect you to plan for this potentiality in advance. Please do not use the last bus that ‘might’ arrive 30 minutes before sunset. When the delay does happen, it means someone is required to remain after their normal working hours to be available for your arrival.

Arrival on Monday or Tuesday is preferred and Wednesday is acceptable. Saturday and Sunday are usually days off for the volunteer coordinating staff. If it is completely impossible to adjust your itinerary to arrive any day other than Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you will need to work half-days on the farm both Saturday and Sunday and your first full day off will be the following weekend. Arrival on Thursday will require half day work on either Saturday or Sunday.

Be prepared to contribute. Volunteers are expected to work 6 hours each day. Types of projects and daily schedules will vary per season, but be prepared to wake up early (6am). 6 hours does NOT include the time you will participate in community activities. This includes cleaning of the living areas and other community spaces and assistance with the meal serving and clean-up. This is not a significant amount of time each day but it is required and you must accept that this is essential for the community to function.

Be comfortable  Volunteers in the school should wear comfortable, appropriate attire for working in a school.  Farm volunteers also should select comfort and this might surprisingly mean long-sleeved shirts.  Keeping the sun off is actually a better way to stay cool than taking as much off as possible.  Shoes should, similarly, be comfortable.  Boots are not required but a wide brim hat is a good idea.

Thailand has a different understanding of what is acceptable in regards to modesty in personal attire.  Responsible and conscientious travelers educate themselves about what is appropriate for their destination.  When the host country differs with what might be normally acceptable in a travelers home, it is not appropriate to challenge the host’s opinion.  If there are any questions about what is acceptable, feel free to ask.    This also applies to holidays and the Daruma swimming area.  Ultra-small swimwear should be avoided in Thailand.

Volunteers are able to use the Mosaic computers (with internet access) outside of normal school hours.  The use of WiFi is restricted to full-time staff only.  If you require access for your own device, you can purchase a SIM from the 7-11 near the farm.  It is recommended that you use the TrueMove company as this is the most convenient for refilling at the local stores and they provide reasonable pre-paid 3G data rates.
Respect the farm rules & each other.

We do not try to ruin anyone’s stay with a lot of useless rules.  That we take the time to write them down and also explain them on your arrival should indicate that these are things we are serious about and we need everyone to understand that they exist for a reason.   In addition to the ones listed here, some things will be explained during your orientation.

No Smoking –  Not anywhere on the farm property or in any of the buildings, anytime.  No exceptions.  It is okay to smoke outside the farm at the gate but not when the children are arriving to or departing from school.

Be on Time –  The work at Daruma and Mosaic may seem chaotic at times.  It can be hard to coordinate as many things that are happening each day some of which might not even be apparent.  If you have a duty or responsibility to be somewhere at a certain time please be diligent about being on time or else you might contribute to the chaos…

Alcohol –  We have no problem with responsible consumption of alcohol at the farm.  As long as it does not create any issues with the reason you are present in the first place, meaning, you re able to safely do your volunteer work or participate in your course of instruction.  As we are a school, we must always maintain and present a good image of responsible alcohol usage as well.  The community area can be visited anytime so it should never appear that it was a scene of a rock concert for example.

Hitchhiking –  Hitchhiking is not illegal in Thailand and is actually quite popular with many travelers.  If it is safe or unsafe depends on the person offering a ride.  However, in our very small community, the local population considers it to be very dangerous.  And since they know almost all foreigners in Bang Phra are from Daruma Eco-farm or Mosaic school, they literally ‘panic’ when they see someone hitchhiking.  This prompts them to immediately make phone calls to our family and friends to express their concern.  Therefore, please support our local tuktuk and motorcycle taxi drivers.

FAQs

Rooms are provided with beds, mosquito nets, and fans. Showers and bathroom are just a few steps away. Volunteers can also enjoy the ample common spaces including the kitchen, library, meeting room, and living room areas. Lockers are provided for additional storage (note: you’ll need to supply your own padlock if desired). Enjoy an extensive library of books on gardening, permaculture, philosophy, and fiction to continue cultivating your mind after we’re finished with the day’s work.

Be sure to bring your own towel, toiletries, bug spray, and a padlock for locker if desired.

Something more than flip-flops!

We can provide you: Gloves, boots, hat.

In the market you will probably find all the items you may need at very reasonable prices.

Our kitchen operates on a “cook as you go, clean as you go” policy. Basic food staples are provided for volunteers to cook their own shared meals. Rice, fresh fruits and veggies, canned goods, meat and dairy are kept in a fully-equipped kitchen for your use, with plenty of cooking gadgets—even a rocket stove. If you have special dietary restrictions, notify us in advance so the pantry and fridge are stocked appropriately. You can also forage from the grounds, although be sure whatever you’re picking is safe to be consumed!

Access to internet at Daruma Farm is limited. No streaming, downloading or uploading is allowed. If you need internet access for high-bandwidth activities you can bicycle to our Spa (about 15 minutes) which has a stronger internet connection.

We have a computer that can be used by volunteers.

Laundry is available for 50 baht per load (washed, dried and folded).  Ironing can be arranged, payable per item.

Bicycles can be borrowed from the farm for short trips (like the supermarket). We also provide the phone number for local taxis and tuk tuks.

Don’t see your question here? Ask us:


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